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The Reason Behind the Flooding of Great Salt Lake In Refuge, Terry Tempest Williams blames a natural catastrophe--that the overflowing of the Great Salt Lake in Utah - to the destruction of this area she loved most in the world, the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. What Williams attempts to describe, however, is that this disaster was not actually "organic" at all. Refuge is critiqued by some for being over-dramatized, and Terry Tempest Williams is often criticized for blaming the world along with other people for the loss of the bird refuge. In fact, Williams is right when she says that humans are responsible to the flood of Salt Lake, that was caused by the construction of a railroad causeway that divide Great Salt Lake to two bodies of water. The author is not a reckless finger-pointer, she is a realist. In describing the bird refuge before the flooding, Williams goes into great detail about the abundance of birds and vegetation that inhabited her paradise: "Avocets and black-necked stilts are knee deep in water alongside interstate 80. Flocks of California gulls stand on a disappearing beachI inhale the salty air. It's like ocean, even the lake is steel-blue with whitecaps"(Williams 30). In a visit to the bird refuge with her grandmother, she describes the refuge as a place full of life, with countless birds among beautiful plants and wildlife. Indeed, the bird refuge was a sanctuary to her; there was something magical, she writes, about seeing the thousands of different birds in one spot, a sight that kept her going back. The rise of Great Salt Lake engulfed the refuge, and as the flooding continued, the population of birds plummeted, Williams' sanctuary become a graveyard filled with only memories of the birds she grew.